Real estate agents and broker confidence rose in March for the first time in three months, according to a survey by real estate marketing and technology provider Point2 Technologies.

Real estate agent and broker confidence rose in March for the first time in three months, according to a survey by real estate marketing and technology provider Point2 Technologies.

The company’s Real Estate Confidence Index rose 2.49 percent to 5.77 in March, from 5.63 in February. The index is based on survey responses on a 10-point scale; one equals "bad" or "pessimistic" and 10 equals "good" or "optimistic." Before this month, the index had been dropping since December, falling to 5.91 from 6.03 in November.

The index is based on three components that gauge survey respondents’ optimism or pessimism: current sentiment, future sentiment based on a short-term outlook (three to six months), and a long-term outlook (12 to 18 months).

All three components rose this month. Current sentiment crossed into optimistic territory, to 5.04 from 4.87 last month. Short-term outlook perked up slightly, to 5.76 from 5.71. Long-term outlook rose to 6.51 from 6.32.

"Prevailing positive sentiment surrounding the current tax-credit program due to expire on April 30, 2010, combined with the onset of the typically more active spring season, helped to fuel the optimistic outlook," the survey report said.

"Declining inventory levels in a number of states, however, emerged as a primary catalyst for price stabilization and was seen by respondents as a key reason for more frequent bidding wars in key states, including Florida, on low- to mid-range-priced properties."

The survey results were based on 1,845 responses gathered over a period of seven days from real estate professionals that use the company’s Point2 Agent software platform.

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